Thursday, September 21, 2017

Spotlight On...Robin Bady

Name: Robin Bady

Hometown: Oakhurst, NJ

Education: Antioch College, New York University Professional Actor Training Program – BFA, New York University, Educational Theater, credits towards MFA

Select Credits: Timpanogos Storytelling Conference and Festival, Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival Festival, Provincetown Playhouse, The Bell House, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and MothSlam winner. Storytelling tours of Ireland, China, Germany and the United States

Why theater?: After years involved in acting, directing, founding two youth theaters and one adult theater, writing, etc., I discovered storytelling and fell in love with the art form. It is simple and direct, with a immediate connection with the audience and the opportunity to tell the whole story –from all points of view – and still be able to imbue it with one central point of view! Cool! This show is my opportunity to marry together what I love best about each forms – no fourth wall and immediacy (storytelling) and ritualization and heightened performance (theater).

Tell us about Nancy Drewinsky, or, The Search for the Missing Letter: I began working on this piece during the beginning of War in Iraq. The more I read and heard and learned about the rising Islamophobia, my own family’s history of dealing with anti-Semitism during the McCarthy period became relevant. This is the story of what happened to my family during Senator Joseph McCarthy’s 1950’s Communist witch hunt. My dad worked at the Army Signal Corps of Engineers Electronic labs, based at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. Suddenly, one day, seemingly out of nowhere, he and 40 other engineers and physicists were accused of being part of a spy ring which stole secrets to pass along to the Soviet Union. All of them, save one, were Jewish. They all lost security clearances. Some were fired. All were humiliated. This show is the story of what happened, and how it affected my family. One thing I did not expect was how emotional this story would be to research. How much shame and fear were uncovered. It took me a long time to get the courage to get past each section, and to finally finish the story. And I am aware that it is still, sadly, relevant today.

What's it like being part of United Solo Festival?: It is one –an honor, two–  a thrill to be amongst other lovers of solo art, three– fabulous to be in an international festival and four – EXCITING!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love most theater and storytelling. All speak to me, as long as there is honesty embedded within. I love theater with a point of view, with a message, that speaks to my intellect as well as my emotions. I particularly love theater that I keep thinking about weeks after, where something stays with me. Who inspires me? Brecht, Lily Tomlin, Sarah Bernhardt, Elinora Duse, many comedians, many storytellers including Elizabeth Ellis and Dovie Thomason, and any performer who will keep making his/her art no matter what the reviews are!

What’s your favorite showtune?: Anything from Little Me or Little Mary Sunshine

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I will work with anyone who is fun, or serious, loves to communicate and wants to play!.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Shakespeare, during his lifetime or Greek comedies or tragedies – in the open amphitheaters. Also, Brecht, directing any one of his shows pre-or post-WW2 and the original Einstein on the Beach.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:  Go see storytelling! The Moth, at the Hans Christian Andersen Statue in Central Park, at one of the many festivals around the country and around the world. Any show. Enjoy!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Detective novels and cop shows!

What’s up next?: Touring Nancy Drewinsky, or, the Search for the Missing Letter. Writing a book of the true ghost stories told to me by people who I have met in my travels.